Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pop-up Memory Shop by Charity Miskelly

Install at 9 pm last Saturday, just as nuit blanche London ramps up...

... memories shared and observed as shop shuts down for the night.

Charity has this to say about the experience:

As soon as the lamps were lit inside the Pop-Up Memory Shop, a man approached the booth, “Can I use this phone to make a call?” He proceeded to call someone, seemingly unaware and untouched by the transformation the booth had just undergone. He was the shop’s first visitor.
The shop was up from 9 pm to 3 am for passerbys to post their memories and thoughts on the walls. Paper, pencils and tape were found in the shop, along with a note instructing people to use the space to share their ponderings.  
The shop was flooded with visitors from the moment it opened. The air was thick with curiosity.  There was no hesistation. The crowds stopped, looked, picked up a pencil and paper, and began to write.  
People weren’t sure if the phone was real. One person asked “Did you bring this telephone booth down here?” 
An hommage to the conversations that have littered the walls of the booth for years, the posted ‘text messages’ took on a life of their own. Messages upon messages piled up, each adding another layer to the booth’s collection of thoughts. People were writing on the paper, on the deck of vintage cards, even on the coasters. As long as they could take part.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Telephone by Paul Hong

There was a click and a buzzing noise. An operator cut in:

"Sir, on behalf of the National Phone Company and Dial-A-Services Incorporated, I am excited to inform you that you are our one millionth caller from this phone booth! Congratulations sir, you've just won a fabulous prize!"

Joseph said nothing.


"Is this a joke?"

"This is most certainly not a joke, sir. We have been holding a special contest where the millionth caller of a randomly chosen phone booth is awarded a prize of a lifetime and I'm happy to say that special winner is you! Congratulations again and I am certain that this will change your life for the better. Sir, are you excited? How do you feel?"

Joseph hesitated for a moment. "I didn't even know there was a contest… what do I win?"

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This is an excerpt of Paul Hong's story, which takes place inside the booth on Yonge Street, south of Churchill, in front of Thai Bistro, next to Mezzanotte on the south and Owl of Minerva on the north. The full story is in Tel-talk, with copies of the book available at the Telephone Booth Gallery and soon on Amazon Books.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lizz Aston's Lace Flag: up, up and away

Stuart Keeler's curated project for Tel-talk, entitled Flagpole (a meta-conversation), has involved a really diverse raising of flags over the recent weeks. The flags are being raised up between twin booths located at Jarvis and Wellesley Street East. The booths have a unique metal pole jutting up between them.

Two nights ago, Lizz Aston's Lace Flag was covertly raised at about 1:30 am. Here is an image of Lizz just before that, with flag outside her studio. The flag, alas, has already gone MIA and no images of it in-situ exist. Peace and love, flag. We miss you, butterfly wing.

Jamison Food Mart by Alison Fleming

See this bold little oil painting at The Telephone Booth Gallery tomorrow night at the opening of the Tel-talk exhibition.

See this stoic pedestal booth in Winnipeg, in front of Jamison Food Mart at 498 Jamison Avenue.

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Charity Miskelly opens shop Saturday...

On June 16th, during London, ON's nuit blanche celebrations, Charity Miskelly will occupy the telephone booth on Dundas Street, between Richmond and Clarence.

She is arming herself with some of her own painting references and a series of questions:
Do the spaces we inhabit absorb out conversations? Are telephone booths really time capsules of past exchanges? Are our secrets and memories forever embedded in our environment? 

She writes, "Lost thoughts, ideas, feelings and moments may be captured in the objects we surround ourselves with. In a place where excerpts of discussions, thoughts and ideas are told, the telephone booth is a container, storing a collection of moments."

Charity invites you to visit the "Pop-up Memory Shop" to remember, think, feel and leave your thoughts behind.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

(l)ack/knowledge by Red Wagon is up!

This assemblage of unique knit works created by a collective of lady fingers is brilliantly set against its unassuming surroundings. Congratulations everyone, for making the sun shine a little brighter at Dundas West and Pacific Avenue.  

Great works in progress until July 14; photos courtesy Red Wagon.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Red Wagon's getting cozy

Nancy Viva Davis Halifax and Kim Jackson are Red Wagon Collective. They live in the Junction neighbourhood and use the arts in community to foster social justice. Both are long-time artist/activists who enjoy disrupting and making visible the borders of neoliberal practices. They think art should be sparkley, tangled, and resistive... and their installation, which goes up tomorrow, is informed by the use of domestic arts and reflects and engages the work done with women in the Junction neighbourhood experiencing poverty. 

For the past several years Red Wagon Collective has met weekly with the women at the Salvation Army Evangeline Shelter and have completed various projects together. They have been knitting, crocheting, beading, drawing, painting, book making and more. The artists of Red Wagon Collective have been developing a community-based arts practice that blurs the lines of community and contemporary art through a focus on arts practice as significant to social relations. The Tel-talk installation troubles the boundaries between community and contemporary art. Their aim with the installation is to intervene into the public space of the Junction with the presence of women from the community who do not generally have a presence. 

Look for the installation at Pacific Avenue and Dundas West. It will be up through the duration of the accompanying Tel-talk exhibition at Telephone Booth Gallery, just down the street.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cellular Ghosts by Steven Tippin

See Tippin's Cellular Ghosts Friday, June 15, dusk...

art interventions in telephone booths

Book Launch and Exhibition Opening
Friday June 15, 6 – 9pm   Artists Present

Telephone Booth Gallery
3148 Dundas St. W, Toronto

Exhibition continues until July 14, 2012

Monday, 4 June 2012

Pickled Egg Poetry by John Sobol

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Picked Egg Poem (for the Carleton Tavern, Ottawa)

pickled eggs on the counter
pickled eggs on the linoleum 
pickled eggs gathering dust under the bar

pickled egg breath in the phone booth
calling home
calling a cab
calling the cops

pickled egg dreams of another friday night boozeup at The Carleton Tavern
pickled egg lunches between Mechanicsville shifts
pickled egg picnics in baskets with quarts of beer, pig's knuckles 
and tucked away in a vest pocket 
a wedding ring

pickled egg pennies (1935)
pickled egg nickels (1959)
pickled egg quarters (1982)
pickled egg loonies (2012)

quick call mom i just fell in love over a pickled egg
quick call a cab my water broke like a jar of pickled eggs on the floor
quick call an ambulance, joe just tipped right over backwards in his chair and landed on his head, this time he's really hurt i think
quick call louise and gilles and alfred and michelle and eugenie and bob, the band is cooking tonight
quick another joke another laugh another wink another dance another kiss another tear another beer
quick another pickled egg

carbonated afternoons of Black Label and Ex and Blue and spaghetti and maybe a pickled egg or two too
nights and decades of hope and lust and late night truths in the smoke of 10,000 cigarettes
mornings after sleeping it off in the phone booth outside
corner of Armstrong and Parkdale in Hintonburg
snow drifts between tarred fingertips, snoring gently into the phone
this is home
this is home
this is home

call me a pickled egg on the phone
this is home